An experienced lawyer can be an invaluable resource whether you are buying, selling, or managing real estate. However, not every attorney will have the same knowledge necessary to guide you through your particular legal issue. Consider these tips when hiring a real estate lawyer.
Real estate lawyers can help you with almost any situation related to commercial or residential real estate. These attorneys can aid you in the buying, selling, or leasing process. They can also help you handle foreclosure, financing, document transactions, environmental issues, or negotiations over the terms of a deal.
Some states, like Georgia, South Carolina, and Massachusetts, require a lawyer's presence for real estate transactions. In other states, including Alabama and North Carolina, you may need an attorney to help with closing procedures.
Even if you are not required to hire a real estate lawyer, consider the benefits of hiring a lawyer to review contracts or other documents in order to make sure your rights are protected.
Real estate lawyers often charged for their services at an hourly rate, ranging between $150 and $350 per hour. However, some attorneys may charge a flat rate for a specific service, like $600 to assist with closing procedures.
Identify your legal issue. What area of real estate law do you need help with? Some real estate lawyers focus on agricultural, commercial, or residential cases. Others may have more experience with foreclosures or environmental issues.
Consider your location. Each state has its own property laws, but laws may also vary between counties and cities. A local lawyer is likely to have relevant knowledge that an out-of-town attorney may lack.
Start your search online. Local directories are good places to begin compiling your list of candidates. You can compare their experience and read reviews from past clients. You can also request information from the local bar association or your city's chamber of commerce.
After you create your short list of real estate lawyer candidates, start interviewing them. Most lawyers offer a free consultation to ask a few initial questions before you decide commit to hiring them. Consider asking the following questions in order to access whether or not they are a good fit for your legal issue:
Do not hesitate to interview multiple attorneys. The attorney you choose should not only have experience with your legal issue, but also be someone you feel comfortable working with.